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Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Seeds?

Dogs can’t always eat the same foods as humans, so you should know what you can feed them.

A white dog with pumpkins in the background. As a dog owner, have you wondered can dogs eat pumpkin seeds?>

This time of year, you may be wondering about pumpkin seeds. After emptying a pumpkin to use it for baking, cooking, or decorating, perhaps you’d like to avoid wasting the seeds by feeding them to your furry friend.

So can dogs eat pumpkin seeds? The answer is more complicated than you may think, but we’ll explain!


Why Can’t Dogs Eat the Same Foods as Humans?

Simply put, dogs digestive systems are built differently, starting from the way they eat. Rather than breaking food down, their saliva merely kills harmful bacteria, letting them eat unsavory items without getting sick. The food doesn’t break down until it gets to the stomach, which is filled with far more acid than a human’s, and digestion takes four to eight hours to complete.

However, perhaps the most important difference is that a dog’s intestine is smaller than that of a human. It has less time or space to process complex foods. Bones and meat have simple compositions that are easy to break down; plants, grains, and other foods common to humans are trickier.

A dog eating food from a dog bowl.

This information is the key to answering our question: Can dogs eat pumpkin seeds?


Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin Seeds?

The answer is yes, but with caveats. You can feed dogs pumpkin seeds, though only in moderation; their intestines have trouble digesting them in large amounts because seeds are more complex than a canine’s staple diet.

Luckily, there’s nothing in the seeds that could poison a dog, but your friend could still feel sick if they eat too many. Here are a few issues your furry friend may experience in such cases:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain (which they will show by sitting with their chest and forelegs on the floor and back legs standing up, and/or they will yelp if you apply pressure to the stomach area)

How Can Pumpkin Seeds Benefit Your Dog?

Can dogs eat pumpkin seeds? Technically, yes. Should they, though?

Closeup of a spoonful of pumpkin seeds.
Good news — it’s safe for dogs to eat pumpkin seeds!

Fortunately, pumpkin seeds have some great advantages for canines when eaten in moderation. Here are some health benefits of pumpkin seeds for dogs:

Fiber

Because it fills the stomach for longer the nutrients and manages insulin levels, fiber leads to better digestion and weight management.

Iron

Iron is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the bloodstream to create energy and prevent dangerous blood clots.

Zinc

You might see zinc as a primary ingredient in lots of medicines, and that’s because it’s great at strengthening the immune system.

Calcium

Dogs need healthy teeth, bones, heart, and muscles, as well as a responsive nervous system. Calcium helps with that.

Potassium

Together with calcium, potassium works to create strong muscles, in addition to a robust heart and nervous system.

Vitamin K

Like iron, vitamin K is essential for encouraging proper blood flow. In fact, lots of veterinarians specifically prescribe a vitamin K supplement for dogs, but dogs can pumpkin seeds for that instead.

Vitamin E

As one of the most versatile nutrients, vitamin E is known for supporting healthy eyes, reproduction, metabolism, and cell activity. It also combats inflammation and reduces the risk of cancer.


How to Feed the Seeds Safely

Woman feeding a dog a small bit of food.

You may be wondering–how can dogs eat pumpkin seeds without experiencing these unpleasant effects? It depends on several factors. One is the size of the dog. Check out how many seeds your friend can eat daily depending on their breed:

  • Small dogs: Three to five
  • Medium dogs: Five to ten
  • Large dogs: Ten to twenty

Dogs can eat pumpkin seeds easiest when they aren’t raw. They may choke on the shells and can’t process them at all.

Whether you roast them in a pan or in your oven, give the seeds to your friend only after they’re thoroughly peeled and cooked or ground. Avoid adding salt, oil, or spices.

Find veterinarian-approved homemade meals for ideas, since even vets say that it isn’t dangerous for dogs to eat pumpkin seeds. Here’s a Pumpkin Seed Treat recipe your dog may enjoy!


What to Do If Your Dog Eats Pumpkin Seeds

Although it’s safe for dogs to eat pumpkin seeds, you might overestimate the amount your dog can handle, or they may snatch a few extra ones when you’re not looking. Either way, it’s natural to worry when your friend starts exhibiting the signs of pumpkin seed overload. We’ll give you some advice on how to help them until the discomfort passes.

Get Medications and Supplements

Give your dog probiotics, antacids, and/or medicines that relieve diarrhea and nausea. Of course, always check with your veterinarian first about what’s good for your dog.

Woman giving a dog a medication pill.

Give the Digestive System a Break

Have your furry friend fast for 24 hours, but only with your veterinarian’s position, and only if they’re an adult from a medium or large breed.

Feed Carefully

Feed your dog simple, soft, and mild meals, like mashed sweet potatoes, chicken, and/or rice. Spices aren’t a good idea, but you could add crushed herbs like chamomile, milk thistle, ginger, calendula, rosemary, or goldenseal. These herbs are known for improving gut health, reducing inflammation, and encouraging relaxation.

Alternatively, sneak in some probiotics by mixing in some plain yogurt.

Maintain Hydration

Diarrhea and vomit can lead to dehydration. Keep the water bowl filled up more than usual. However, since excess water can irritate the stomach further, consider putting out ice chips instead.

A dog drinking water from a bowl.

Prioritize Rest

Go out for walks or potty breaks only when absolutely necessary. Other than that, encourage your dog to get as much rest as possible. In fact, try to spend time together doing quiet, low-key activities, like watching movies, reading a book, or hey, browsing our website for more great content!

In any case, resting with your dog will help them feel less anxious about their pain and more likely to take it easy until their digestive system finishes processing the pumpkin seeds.

Most cases only last twelve hours, and then it’s safe to feed dogs pumpkin seeds and other complex foods again. If your furry friend’s symptoms last for longer than that, however, take them to a veterinarian.


Enjoy Pumpkin Seeds With Your Friend!

Can dogs eat pumpkin seeds? That’s one question you can cross off your list now! Just make sure your friend only gets a handful or two of roasted seeds whenever you have them, and they’ll be just fine.

Closeup of a dog with pumpkins in the background.

If you’ve wondered what else dogs can handle, we have more advice to offer. Considering the popularity of pumpkins in the fall, you may be curious about whether your dog can eat pumpkin flesh, too. Don’t worry–we’ve got you covered!

For more pumpkin reading, visit our Pumpkin Plants page for blog posts about different pumpkin varieties, plus helpful growing and care guides for creating your own pumpkin patch!